Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Will Blumenthal run in 2012?

Special to The Register Citizen
It could have been mistaken for a political rally.
The man at the head of the room had a story about his immigrant father succeeding in America and his mother who came from the heartland. There was a shout-out to veterans in the room, and singing by a group of middle school children.
Booked months ago, the gathering of students, senior citizens and local dignitaries Tuesday was arranged by The Women’s Center at Gateway Community College, where almost 200 people squeezed into the largest room the small campus had to offer.
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, one of the most recognized elected officials in the state, certainly one of the most familiar to newscasters, talked of health insurance denials he has reversed, poor treatment of returning veterans and child abuse cases his office handles.
"Ninety-five percent of the time we win without having to go to court. That’s because they’re wrong, and we’re right," he said of his battles with insurance companies, to the crowd’s murmurs of approval.
Blumenthal’s daily schedule is chock full of such appearances, press conferences, dinners and parades. Is this the time Blumenthal will take all that political capital and run for governor, now that Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell has announced she will not seek re-election, giving Democrats their first good shot at the top job in 18 years?
Blumenthal said no, he’s running for attorney general "because it is a job I love because it enables me to fight for people and make a difference. I have no plan to run for governor."
On the other hand, asked if he would run in 2012 for U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman’s seat, Blumenthal said: "It would be a challenge that I would welcome, if it were the right time to do it, and I thought I could make a difference. Stay tuned."
In the meantime, Blumenthal said he hoped Lieberman could be persuaded to support the health care package, including the public option, that just squeaked by in the House and now heads for a tougher battle in the U.S. Senate.
The Democratic Governors Association Tuesday said it is moving Connecticut to its top tier of targeted 2010 pickup races, in light of Rell’s decision.
Nathan Daschle, executive director of the group, said it will invest resources and "play offense" in Connecticut, where there is no clear successor to Rell.
A total of 37 gubernatorial races are on the ballot next year, and the association said it raised $11.6 million in the first six months of the year.
The Democratic field considering a run for governor has grown to five: Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy; Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz; former U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont; Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi; and state Sen. Gary LeBeau, D-East Hartford. Former House Speaker James A. Amann of Milford is the only announced candidate.


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